Making the Impossible Possible: The Story of Puerto Rican Studies in Brooklyn College

poster for the film Making the Impossible PossibleWe’re excited to announce that CUNY now has streaming access to the film “Making the Impossible Possible: The Story of Puerto Rican Studies in Brooklyn College.”

This film can be viewed at the link above, shared in the classroom, and screened at any CUNY event that does not charge admission. The Alliance for Puerto Rican Education and Empowerment has also shared a study guide for the film.

MAKING THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE tells the story of the student-led struggle to win Puerto Rican Studies at Brooklyn College, CUNY, in the late 1960s. The documentary is a mosaic of voices, film footage, and photographs taken by student activists. This important intergenerational story highlights how students and faculty seized the moment to build upon an alliance of Puerto Rican, African American, and other progressive students forged in their communities and the civil rights movement. Together they changed the face of higher education, transforming the curriculum and expanding who gets educated. The film sheds light on the 50-year history of struggle that started with the founding of one of the first Puerto Rican Studies departments in the nation, and documents the continued movement to maintain their gains.

Directed by Pamela Sporn, Tami Gold, Produced by Gisely Colón López, Tami Gold, Pamela Sporn, Alliance for Puerto Rican Education and Empowerment (New York, NY: Third World Newsreel, 2021), 34 minutes

Special thanks to Roxanne Shirazi, Michael Hughes, and other library workers who contributed to making this film accessible to CUNY.

Please note: the link above is for Graduate Center affiliates via CUNY Onesearch, but the film should display in any CUNY library’s Onesearch catalog for authentication throughout all the CUNY campuses. Ask a librarian if you need assistance!

About the Author

Alycia Sellie is the Associate Librarian for Collections at the Graduate Center Library.